Have a Safe and Happy Holiday!
Dear Glendale Unified Students, Families, Employees, and Community,
I want to take an opportunity to extend my best wishes to you and your family this holiday season. The spirit of the season is one of love, generosity, and kindness. This year it has been especially inspiring to see how the members of our community have found innovative and creative ways to spread joy and support one another. Just this week, our district staff, along with help from PTA and community volunteers, distributed more than 400 toys and thousands of holiday meal kits to families in need. Thank you to each and every one of you who donated items and volunteered your time to support our community.
As we wrap up the first half of the school year and look ahead to spring, I want to give you an update on where we stand with regard to reopening schools.
Winter Holiday Break
Our Glendale Unified district offices will be closed to the public from December 21 - January 4. Distance learning instruction will resume following winter break on Thursday, January 7. Our Nutrition Services department will also resume grab-and-go meal services on January 7. On-campus childcare and services that were operating prior to winter break, including Technology Learning Pods, Facilitated Learning Centers, athletic conditioning, and on-site assessments, will resume on Monday, January 11.
Glendale Unified will continue operating in a distance learning environment until at least March 12, 2021 with teachers continuing to have the option of working from home or in their classroom. Per Los Angeles County Public Health Guidelines, schools may not reopen fully for in-person instruction until the county has been in the Substantial (Red) Tier for COVID-19 transmission for two weeks. Currently, Los Angeles County remains in the Widespread (Purple) Tier. Given the current surge in coronavirus cases, we do not expect the county to fall into the Red Tier until at least March.
We are acutely aware of coronavirus transmission within Los Angeles County and the recent increases in the number of positive cases and hospitalizations. It is important to note that Governor Newsom’s current stay-at-home order does not affect in-person instruction for school districts that have already opened or plan to open soon, including on-campus childcare, specialized services, and TK-2 waivers. The Governor specifically stated that services to students that are currently operating should remain open with all necessary precautions in place.
Although distance learning will continue until at least March 12, we are continuing to prepare our school sites following all health and safety protocols so we are ready for the careful and deliberate return of students for on-campus instruction once it is safe to do so. Rest assured that any decisions we make about returning our students and teachers to campuses will be based on science, follow Public Health guidance, and include plenty of prior notice to all stakeholders.
I am incredibly thankful for this community and honored to work alongside each and every one of you to strengthen our academic programs, encourage our students social and emotional growth, and create a vibrant, inclusive environment where our children can learn and thrive. I hope you have an opportunity to relax and spend time with family, friends, and loved ones in safe and healthy ways over the winter break. I look forward to seeing you in the new year.
Vivian Ekchian, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools